Building with Straw Bales
A Practical Manual for Self-Builders and Architects
Straw bale building is a radically different approach to construction, and this book explains, in straightforward and commonsense terms, the principles of the technique, which was pioneered in the United States more than a hundred years ago and is now entering the mainstream. It is used by firms who see its value in terms of cost-effectiveness, ease of installation, and energy efficiency. Straw has great load-bearing qualities and provides superior insulation at an affordable price. Straw bale building is accessible to many people who are normally excluded from the construction process and provides immense opportunity for creative fun, enabling them to design and build the sort of shape and space they would really like. The book covers design principles; different types of foundations; how to raise walls, stabilize them, and protect them from the weather; and how straw bale buildings can easily meet building regulation requirements. This book is for self-builders as well as for people working the construction industry and has been fully revised and expanded to include new sections on natural plasters, a detailed analysis of how straw performs with humidity, and an extensive resources section. Now in full color for the first time, the beautiful photographs throughout this book illustrate the techniques described and showcase the diverse possibilities of straw bale building.